Built Heritage 16th – 19th c.

Project research of this research unit covers the historical and spatial development of Croatia's architectural heritage from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The research is carried out on several levels and across several topics, with the common goal of presenting Croatian architecture in the context of Central Europe and the Mediterranean.

The levels of work relate to further fundamental research and new synthetic interpretations.

The main research topics are divided into urbanism (cities, towns and regions) and architecture (fortification, residential and sacral architecture). The work is based on field and archival research and includes the production of new architectural and photographic documentation.

Starting from the historical circumstances of the origin of cities and civil engineering in Croatian regions, typological starting points are determined, i.e. architects behind the most representative interventions are identified, and the stylistic development and reception of architectural forms are monitored. The above stated goal is achieved by researching significant sponsors, especially members of the nobility, the church and state institutions. Amongst a number of hypotheses related to each topic, the one we to place emphasis on is the general hypothesis that the monuments of Croatian Renaissance and Baroque urbanism and architecture display regional peculiarities, as well as their place within European culture: the specificity of Croatia's geopolitical position at the crossroads of Central Europe and the Mediterranean, and the European West and East can also be read from the country’s architectural heritage.

New results are being achieved relating to a series of hitherto under-explored topics – the Renaissance and Baroque city-building in continental Croatia and along the Croatian coast, furthermore Baroque forts in Dalmatia, Baroque palaces and churches of certain regions, fortified country architecture on the islands.

The research results have been published in numerous scientific papers and monographs on prominent monuments (St. Catherine's Academic Church in Zagreb, Dubrovnik Cathedral), groups of monuments (bastioned forts in Dalmatia, the architecture of Venetian engineers in Dalmatia) and artists (Gianantonio Selva), including the synthesis of 17th and 18th century architecture in the book Baroque Architecture (edition History of Art in Croatia, Ljevak, Zagreb, 2015).

The results are verified in cooperation with local and foreign scientists and institutions as well as through international presentation at scientific conferences and faculties.

The importance of the results is reflected in new scientific knowledge and its application in the practice of monument conservation, the production of studies for the restoration of monuments and the revitalization of settlements.